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Council Poised to Pave Way for Beach Path Improvements North of the Pier
By Jorge Casuso
June 21, 2019 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to pave the way for $12.3 million worth of improvements to the three miles of beachfront paths north of the Santa Monica Pier.
The Council is expected to authorize a $12,295,199 contract with Access Pacific Inc. to improve roughly one mile of the Ocean Front Walk pedestrian path and two miles of the North Beach Trail from the Pier to the northern city limits.
It also is expected to authorize a $684,484 contract with MNS Engineers, Inc. for construction observation services.
The North Beach Trail Project will enhance safety and circulation for both pedestrians and bicyclists, staff said.
The project will renovate Ocean Front Walk north of the Pier by installing "new paving, seat walls, lighting and better connections to and from the Pacific Coast Highway overpasses and the beach," according to staff.
The trail will be widened from 14 to 30 feet to accommodate a 16-foot-wide bike path and a 12-foot-wide pedestrian path. A two-foot separation between the paths will be delineated by a low concrete curb.
The improvements will "provide safer passage for the the high volume of cyclists and pedestrians using the trail," staff said.
In addition, circulation along the bike path under the Pier and around the large parking lot north of the Pier will be improved to accommodate heavy pedestrian traffic.
Improvements include installing wayfinding path signage throughout the parking lot and constructing a plaza near the Pier entrance.
The plaza will "allow bikes to pull off the bike path and create space for beach and Pier visitors to meet," staff said.
The City began the community outreach process with an online survey in early 2017, staff said. In addition, an in-person survey was conducted along the beach trail.
More than 1,000 responses were received, staff said.
"This valuable input was key in helping to form the initial design concepts for the bike path improvements," staff said.
The concepts were then presented at a Community Open House on the beach in May 2017.
Construction is expected to begin in late summer and take 12 to 14 months to complete, staff said.
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